Members of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) started today its “Palengke Tour” series aiming to raise awareness on human right to water and how corporate-driven privatization of water services violates this right. The group mingled with early morning buyers of Balintawak, Muñoz and Nepa Q-mart markets in Quezon City distributing leaflets and discussing the importance of water in everyday life.

“This is our way of conveying our message to the public and involving the people in our campaign. The central theme of this activity is that we should all value water as this is our basic human right,” said FDC member Bernardo Quiming.

“Everyone must also be aware of the current trend being pushed by the government and big local and multinational water corporations that treat water as an ordinary commodity to which only those people who have money can have access,” Quiming further emphasized.

During the activity, Koz, a Filipino-American rapper-singer who believes in the advocacy of the group passionately performed on a colorfully dressed truck to draw the attention of the busy consumers. “My performance is my humble contribution to the campaign on human right to water,” the artist noted.

Meanwhile, FDC Vice-President Francis Isaac highlighted the importance of raising public awareness on human right to water. “The people have very little appreciation of water and this is very alarming considering that it is the most basic of all human rights,” he pointed out.

“What is more disturbing is the fact that even the government is not doing anything to break off this distressing trend. Worse, it has continuously neglected the water sector by passing on to the private sector its responsibility to provide water services to the public,” Isaac further scored.

“Amid the growing international covenants and agreements recognizing water as a fundamental human right, recent data show that more than 2 billion people around the world do not have access to potable water. In the Philippines, more than 16 million Filipinos do not have access to this very basic human need for survival. We will step up our campaign efforts to pressure our government to address this issue immediately and to call on the Filipino people to join us in this struggle,” Isaac concluded.

The “Palengke Tour” is part of the group’s preparatory activities towards the launching of its Blue Drop Campaign. This campaign, which revolves around issues concerning human right to water and the fight against the intensifying drive to privatize water services in the country, will be launched on June 24, 2006.

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